Govt denies talking of Kumbh becoming Covid ‘super-spreader’, calls media reports fake

The Centre has termed as fake news reports that a senior central government official had expressed reservations during a review meeting about the Kumbh Mela and that the event might become a Covid-19 ‘super-spreader’.

The report, first published in a news agency and then carried in many media outlets, was rejected by the Union health ministry.

The report had cited a secretary-level official as saying that if the government did not decide on ending the Kumbh before the stipulated time, it may become a COVID-19 super spreader.

The report also claimed that the Centre will set up a team that will seek help from religious leaders to urge Kumbh pilgrims to ensure that they wear masks and follow social distancing.

This year, the Kumbh Mela has been cut short to one month as against the usual tenure of four months. The dates for the ‘Shahi Snan’ this year are April 12, 14 and 27.